Unit 2.2

Gradative or Degree Quantifiers

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Introduction

Quantifiers [cuantificadores] are words that indicate a quantity of the subject or object.

They are classified as universal, non-universal, numeral, non-numeral and gradational (or degree) [universales, no universales, numerales, no numerales y gradativos (o de grado).

Gradative or degree quantifiers indicate comparison, superiority, inferiority and equality.

Form

One of the subcategories of quantifiers is that of gradational or degree quantifiers.

The main ones are: más, menos, tan y tanto:

  • más can function in the sentence as a determiner, pronoun or adverb;
  • más and menos can be preceded by the conjunction que;
  • tan and tanto can be preceded by the conjunction como.

Example

  • Aquí hace más frío de lo que parecía en el anuncio;
  • Enviar un correo electrónico es más rápido que enviar un correo postal;
  • Enviar un correo postal es menos seguro que enviar un fax;
  • El presidente de la empresa está tan capacitado como sus empleados;
  • En el despacho hace tanto calor como en la librería de la esquina.

Use

Gradative or degree quantifiers are used to express comparison. In some cases, the quantifiers are preceded by different conjunctions:

  • que (más que/menos que) expresses a comparison of superiority and inferiority;
  • como (tan…como/tanto como) expresses a comparison of equality.

Summary

Gradative or degree quantifiers indicate comparison, superiority, inferiority and equality. The main quantifiers of degree are: más, menos, tan and tanto, which are followed by que and como.

For example:
— «Eres menos inteligente que yo» = to express superiority;
— «Hace tanto frío como cuando se nos rompió el radiador» = to express comparison of equality.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.

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